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Huakina Mai

What is Huakina Mai?

Meaning ‘opening doors’, Huakina Mai is a kaupapa Māori behaviour initiative that promotes whānau, schools and iwi working together to build a positive school culture, based on a Kaupapa Māori world view. This initiative is based on the growing body of practice-based evidence that school and student/whānau success are improved by personalization and strong relationships of teachers' knowledge of, and caring for students.

The programme has been developed with the māori educational community, academia researchers and practitioners, whānau and exemplar schools. It is about getting it right for Māori, particularly those experiencing learning and behavioural challenges in schools.

Huakina Mai helps whānau, schools and iwi to work together to build a positive whole-of-school culture that celebrates, affirms and advocates for the attainment of Māori aspirational outcomes for all students and their whānau. It is multi-faceted and incorporates community immersion; developing systems within the wider school whānau; a teacher pedagogical framework; social skill learning; and restorative practices for students and staff.

Huakina Mai is a model that is able to be adapted for individual school communities. In order for schools, whānau, and communities to implement interventions, they need to contextualise and personalise aspects of the programme to suit their own unique needs and strengths.

The programme will be trialled in selected Christchurch primary schools in partnership with the University of Canterbury, Te Rūnanga o Ngai Tahu and Te Tapuae o Rehua. The trial will be run during 2014-15, including testing the model for possible expansion.

What is involved?

The aim of Huakina Mai is to enhance learning outcomes and experiences for Māori students and their whānau by supporting schools, students, whānau and iwi to build a whole school approach to positive behaviour based on strong relationships, authentic engagement, power sharing, culturally responsive behaviour management systems, processes, practices and pedagogy (ways of teaching and learning).

The Huakina Mai pilot aims to provide a flexible and culturally responsive implementation model which reflects and fits local context, iwi education plans and the aspirations of mana whenua (local Māori).

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